May 28: A single judge bench in the Madhya Pradesh High Court has been directing bail applicants to donate money to feed the poor as a part of their bail conditions.

In at least 17 orders passed over the last 10 days, a single-judge bench of Justice S.A. Dharmadhikari granted bail to accused on the condition that they deposit money with their district collector, The Print reported.

The bail applicants were charged with different crimes, ranging from murder to robbery, destroying evidence, forgery and a case under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

In one of the cases, two men were accused of beating up a man after the latter refused to give them money for alcohol. In another case, a 65-year-old man was accused of beating up a police constable who tried to stop him from violating the lockdown imposed due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Counsel for the accused had “volunteered” to deposit an amount ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000 with the district collector “for utilisation in preparation of food and its distribution to downtrodden persons including migrant labours, by any Government Agency/NGO in and around Morena city.”

The bail conditions further dictate that the office of the Collector maintain a separate account for such donations and use the money “for disbursement of food packets to the downtrodden people including migrant labours” in and around their cities.

Bail applicants have been asked to submit an attested copy of the receipt with the registrar.

Additionally, all bail applicants were also asked to install the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones.

The high court has already been directing several accused persons to register themselves as ‘Covid-19 warriors’ with district magistrates, saying that it is their fundamental duty to “defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so”.

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